The Top 10 Easy Drinkin' Beers in Iowa 2018 - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Top 10 Easy Drinkin' Beers in Iowa 2018

Not every beer has to be face-melting tart or belly-bulging full of sugar. Those sour and pastry stout styles are very popular but truly for a small percentage of beer drinkers. This Top 10 list focuses on the best easy drinkin' beers made in Iowa. It's a broad range of styles allowed here including  Blondes, Pilsners, Lagers, Golden Ales and Hefes. One thing is consistent, it has to be a low ABV.

Here's the Top 10 Easy Drinkin' Beers in Iowa 2018:

10. Sure Shot - 5% ABV Peace Tree Brewing
Peace Tree brews this Kolsch in the traditional German style and gets big results. It's not a boring slammer but a tasty and sometimes noticeably bitter brew. Peace Tree describes this as perfect for a hot Summer Day. With its mild backbone and tasty Noble hops, I can't disagree.

9. Ruthie - 5.2% ABV Exile Brewing
Ruthie is my favorite of the Exile flagship beers. It's a sweet pale lager named for a famous Des Moines bartender. This beer is full of malty flavors and leans to the sweet side. There's notes of honey, caramel and Club Crackers. You can find this in cans at most Iowa retail locations and on tap across the state.

8. BrewNost Pils - 5 % ABV Thew Brewing
The new kid on the block made a beer especially for their block. This Bohemian Pilsner is super crisp and clean. Thew uses Saaz hops to balance out the sweet malt for a perfectly balanced Pils. The only problem is it's still only available at the taproom in crowlers to-go which means some have to travel far for a beer that would be perfect in a 30 pack.

7. Hellevator Helles - 5.3% ABV Alluvial Brewing
Crisp and clean will clearly be a theme in today's post. Alluvial's Hellevator Helles sides on the sweet side as is true to the style. You'll find a beautiful straw colored beer here with light, biscuit-y notes. Like Thew, you can find this at the taproom or around select beer bars in Central Iowa. It's best enjoyed on a warm Summer day on Alluvial's outdoor patio.

6. Boomtown Premium Beer - 4.5% ABV Big Grove Brewery
You can't have an "Iowa beer" list without at least one cream ale. Cream Ales, of course, uses rice and (we'll assume) corn to lighten the body of the beer. The added corn brings some extra sweetness to the otherwise balanced beer. In Wisconsin, they have Spotted Cow and in Iowa we have Boomtown.

5. Gable - 5% ABV SingleSpeed Brewing
Gable is brewed to a final gold color to honor the man in which the beer is named. Gable is light, bread-y and clean. SingleSpeed recently started canning and distributing their beer over the Summer and I'm glad this is part of that mix. In six packs of cans, this can be your tailgate beer, your bike beer, your fishing beer or just won a gold medal beer.

4. Over the Ivy Czech-Style Pils - 4.7% ABV Confluence Brewing
Confluence Brewing wanted a perfect pairing for with American's favorite pastime. With the Iowa Cubs a stone's throw away from the brewery it makes sense to have a beer made to be enjoyed with baseball. Confluence picked the Czech Pils and it's hop bite for that beer. Over the Ivy pours a slight lemon color, that is, if you don't drink it directly from the 16 ounce can.

3. Compensation - 4.5% ABV Lion Bridge Brewing
Lion Bridge took home gold medals from the Great American Beer Fest in both 2014 and 2016 for this beer. It's an English Mild, and outside the low alcohol by volume, it's much different than the rest of the beers on this list. Compensation pours amber or a light brown. It leans heavy on the malty backbone providing caramel, toffee and even chocolate flavors. It has a beefy mouthfeel but isn't heavy to drink. It sounds like a Winter beer but it's a great change of pace year round.

2. Jelles - 5.3% ABV Pulpit Rock Brewing
The third Munich Helles to make the list, Jelles is also the newest too debuting in July of 2018. Pulpit Rock's version is unfiltered leaving way to a slightly cloudy, golden beer. The flavor is mild malt and grain with an easy mouthfeel. The Noble hops offer a tiny bit of spice and provide the beer a dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

1. Keller Pils - 5.1% ABV Fat Hill Brewing
Before you get uptight that this is some trendy, beer-nobody-has-heard-of, hipster choice of a pick, try this beer. Sure, that's likely tough to do unless you live in or near Mason City and can pick up a crowler from the Fat Hill taproom. But, the beer is new as of August of 2018 and the brewery growing so let's hope for more soon.

This beer pours a beautiful straw yellow with a champagne bubbly white head. It explodes with a perfect blend of malty breadiness and spicy Saaz hops. The beer has an earthly vibe and a hint of lemongrass. In Germany, they constructed a four mile beer pipeline to serve beer to a heavy metal rock festival in 2017. I'd like to build something similar from Mason City to my house.


Mile Long Lager (Peace Tree), Vienna Gold (ReUnion), Cinco De Mile (Reclaimed Rails), Lemon Trail (Exile), High Riser Hefe (Fenders), German Pilsner (Millstream), Dorthy's Lager (Toppling Goliath), Tricycle (SingleSpeed), Capital Gold (Confluence), Tragedy of the Common (Iowa Brewing Co), Iowa Gold (Barn Town) and Farmer John's Multigrain (Confluence).

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